(WDVM) — One of the biggest snowstorms Virginia has seen in years left thousands of residents without power. Now, Dominion Energy is saying certain customers should be prepared to wait “multiple days” to see their power restored.
Approximately 390,00 customers lost power after the snowstorm on Monday, Jan. 3. While crews have restored power to many, over 100,000 residents are still waiting for the power to return.
“The biggest question that we’re hearing from our customers right now, as you would imagine, is ‘when are my lights going to be back on?’ It’s going to take a little bit longer for us to give them a more precise answer,” said Rayhan Daudani, Dominion Energy spokesperson.
Daudani says the energy company is prioritizing circuits that serve the most people. That means customers in the most hard-hit and rural areas will be the ones who will have to wait the longest.
Residents, like Sean Mathews from Stafford, are frustrated.
“We wound up letting our children sleep with us last night, just to keep them warm,” said Mathews. “I just really don’t understand how this has happened in this day and age. It just doesn’t make sense that it would go down this bad.”
According to Mathews, the company should have been “more prepared.”
However, Dominion Energy says they have all hands on deck, now recruiting crews from states as far away as Florida to assist with the effort.
“We were monitoring the storm and the forecast late last week. We had our crews on standby so that we could respond as quickly as possible,” said Daudani.
The power restoration efforts are being delayed by the road conditions, making it difficult for crews to reach rural neighborhoods.
“What complicated things further was a lot of the roads weren’t passable and weren’t safe to travel on. That made it hard for our crews to gain access to the locations they need to reach,” said Daudani.
Customers took to social media to express their frustrations, saying they can’t get through to Dominion representatives, as the company tackles an influx of calls.
“We would love to speak with them one by one, or respond to every tweet, but right now, our best opportunity is to get the word out through the news media and our social media channels,” said Daudani.
Dominion Energy says they have crews surveying the damage to provide customers with a better estimate as to when they can see their power return.
As of 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 5, Dominion Energy says there are 140 customers without power in southwest Virginia, including seven customers in Buena Vista and 133 customers in Appomattox County.
Customers can see power outage updates on Dominion Energy’s website.